Alternative Ulster – “Boobies, Banjos, Bagpipes & Beer”

Alternative Ulster – “Boobies, Banjos, Bagpipes & Beer”



Release Date: August 16, 2018

Format: Digital

Label: DIY

Location: Saugerties, NY

Current Lineup: (Per Facebook)

John McGovern – Bagpipes, Guitar, Bass, Banjo, Backing Vocals,

Todd Henry – Drums & Lead Vocals,

Jay Andersen – Guitar, Bass, Drums, Backing Vocals, all Recording, Mixing and Mastering

Favorite Tracks: No Queen No Crown., Crawl Back In Your Shithole, Boobies, Banjos, Bagpipes & Beer, The Sheep Pretend, and Sail Home British Soldiers.

Sounds Like: Dropkick Murphys, The Rumjacks, Born Again Heathens, Bourbon Brawlers, Flogging Molly, and The Mahones.


Do you celebrate way too much on your favorite day of the year? You might take your favorite day of the year in, let’s say excess amounts. You might be a Christmas person, decorating anything you can get your hands on. You may be into Halloween or Valentine’s Day. My day is St. Patrick’s Day. I may be what some may call a, “Plastic Patty”. My family is directly descended from the High King, Domnall mac Áedo. I of course brush the comments away and continue the celebration.

So being an Irish American punk. I am drawn to Celtic Punk and Celtic Traditional music. I’m also a firm believer in allowing any indigenous people to rule and govern themselves. Free from oppression and tyrannical rule. So when Alternative Ulster released their new record, “Boobies, Banjos, Bagpipes & Beer”. I knew right away I wanted to check it out. We loved their last release, “Pog Mo Thoin”. So let’s dig into, “Boobies, Banjos, Bagpipes & Beer”.

The first track up is, “No Queen, No Crown”. This is definitely a rebel song. Unlike Bono trying to hide behind his lyrics, these boys are proud to outright say it. This is dirty punk, with pipes! This one will get stuck in you head faster than the Brits can exit Ireland. Next up is, “Boobies, Banjos, Bagpipes & Beer”. This one is just plain old fun! Mcgovern’s pipes really shine on this one.

“The Sheep Pretend”, this one has a great guitar riff and the drums really lead the progression. “Alternative Ulster”, here’s a cover of the classic song by Stiff Little Fingers. It kicks ass! “Sail Home British Soldiers”, it’s no secret that the American colonies were not fond of the British rule. This one is spoken word. The lyrics, vocals, pipes and drums make this one my favorite on the record. The song refers to the British soldiers burning Kingston, New York.

“Bonnie Little Scott”, is a funny little tribute to ACDC’s Bon Scott. Check out the chorus here which is catchy!

“It’s a long way to the top, but not so far to fall,

When you’re drinking like a fish, and then you lose it all.

The original punk rock piper, he showed us all the way,

He was on a highway to hell, hell’s bells now he’ll play.”

“Dudlesack”, is a pipe driven chant of a good time. “Spilt Upon Me Kilt” is up next. Now this track to the tune of the “12 Days Of Christmas” and hilarious. The band is definitely having a great time on this one. “Chuck In The Fuck It Bucket”, again another one that’s hilarious. It also has more of a spoken word sound. “Countin Other’s Sins”, has great reggae/northern soul backing, with the pipes mixed in. I love the lyrics on this one.

“Calling bad behavior a religion is not a free pass,

If you hate gays and oppress women you can kiss my ass.

Choke on your wafer at your black mass.”

“McGovern’s Bar & Grill”, is up next. The lyrics make this song. It’s heartfelt and reminds this writer of his younger days. My grandfather was a tough old man with a drinking problem. Many of his issues stemmed from his fight in WWII. He could always be found down at a local pub called, “Laddies”. He would take me there when I was 5, as he was my babysitter. This may be why I love drunken nights of laughter and singing.

Next up is simple acoustic cover version of  “Alternative Ulster”, by Stiff Little Fingers. It’s beautiful and well performed. Now up next is my second favorite on the track, “Crawl Back To Your Shithole”. This is a direct insult song to the president and I love it.

“Orange Julius in office,

stuffing immigrant families into coffins.

separating families while combining church and state.

Piggly wiggly combover son of a bitch,

little feet, little hands, little dick!” 

Overall this album will appease any fan of Celtic Punk and punks in general. Alternative Ulster’s new album is fun, original and full punketry in motion. When you’re ready to send a boarding crowd over the deck, be sure to throw this one on!



Tracks: (Per Bandcamp)

1. No Queen, No Crown

2. Boobies, Banjos, Bagpipes & Beer

3.The Sheep Pretend

4. Alternative Ulster (Punk Cover

5. Sail Home British Soldiers

6. Bonnie Little Scott

7. Dudlesack

8. Spilt Upon Me Kilt

9. Chuck In The Fuck It Bucket

10. Countin Other’s Sins

11. McGovern’s Bar & Grill


Alternative Ulster – Póg Mo Thóin

Alternative Ulster – Pog Mo Thoin



Current Lineup: John McGovern – Bagpipes, Guitar, Bass, Backing Vocals, Todd Henry – Drums & Lead Vocals

They boys hailing from Kingston, New York are out loud and proud with their latest release, Póg Mo Thóin. Per the band’s Facebook page their influences include, “The Real McKenzies, The Go Set, Pipes & Pints, Black Tartan Clan, The Dropkick Murphys, Flatfoot 56”. In case I forgot to mention it later the Go Set is hitting the Colorado Irish Fest later this summer. We are hoping Alternative Ulster can join the fest in the near future as well!

Celtic music in general is often deeply emotional to those who create and listen. Let’s first consider the fact that there are Celtic bands throughout the world. The Celts have spanned across the globe and lucky for us brought their amazing music and traditions. The Celts have also been subjected to numerous invasions by marauders and rulers alike. A Celtic man is proud kilt wearing monster who will never back down from a fight. A man who holds his country and family above all others.  He also drinks a lot and his humor makes him a friend to all around him.

Alternative Ulster reminds me of a combination of Stiff Little Fingers meets the Real McKenzies and The Rumjacks. This album is amazing blend of Celtic punk with pipes. You can feel the pipes in your soul and it may even give you the chills a bit. From tracks like “Pog Mo Thoin”, “This We Shall Defend”, and “Haggis”, you’ll wanna grab your flag and run into battle, more than likely the modern day mosh pit. If you’re out for a night on the lash, toss on “Drunk As Fuck” or “Free Beer Tomorrow”!

Who else despises Christmas time? We love our families and the time we get with them, but hate the insanity the season ensues. The boys have given us a funny little tune called “Krampus” for that. Or maybe you’re at the pub wearing your kilt and some, “Self Appointed Kilt Inspector” decides she wants a look at your Celtic goods. You know the type the banshee thinks she can a get a look without asking. She better watch out the Celt woman behind the kilt will be her own demise.

Overall I really enjoyed this album it’s fun, and most of all it’s not generic. You can feel the deep meaning this album has to the band members. They also have a brand new song out just in time for St Patrick’s Day, . You can follow them here on Facebook, .  You can pick up the album here, do it! Sláinte!